Animal health and welfare

The Animal Health and Welfare Policy Advisory Group (PAG) aims to maintain and improve Australia’s animal health and welfare system, as well as the industry’s emergency response capability, through cooperative programs aligned with other industries and governments.

ADF cares deeply about the health and wellbeing of their animals, and this PAG works hard to ensure that this is recognised by government, regulators, retailers, animal groups and, most importantly, consumers. The Animal Health and Welfare PAG provides guidance on current issues and regulations.

Scope

  • Emergency animal disease response preparedness

  • Animal health system capability

  • Disease programs and management

  • Animal welfare standards and guidelines

  • Quarantine and biosecurity oversight

  • Viable food safety and quality assurance systems

  • Promoting responsible practices and industry integrity

Priorities

  • National implementation of the ‘Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle’ through State and Territory regulation.

  • Ensure the ‘Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines: Livestock at Saleyard and Depot’ are reflected throughout industry-based quality assurance programs.

  • Biosecurity covers from on-farm to our national borders. ADF encourages farmers to invest in their on-farm biosecurity.

  • Improve the Australian dairy industry’s social license to operate.

Policies

General
  • The Australian dairy industry commits to striving for the health, welfare and best care for all our animals throughout their lives.
Animal Health Australia
  • Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), as an industry member of Animal Health Australia (AHA) actively engages with all AHA members on national animal health, welfare and biosecurity matters relevant to the dairy industry.
Antimicrobial Stewardship
  • The Australian dairy industry commits to using antibiotics responsibly – as little as possible, as much as necessary – to protect the health and welfare of our animals.
Biosecurity
  • The Australian dairy industry expects farmers to comply with Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) and industry requirements by implementing an on-farm biosecurity plan.
  • The Australian dairy industry supports government and industry in surveillance and preparedness for incursions of emerging animals diseases (including Foot and Mouth Disease) and maintenance of EADRA.
Calves
  • Bobby calves transported for sale or slaughter must be at least five days old, fit and healthy and be adequately fed within six hours of pick up.
  • Calves aged 5 to 30 days old, transported without mothers, must have no more than 30 hours time-off-feed.
  • Calves should be disbudded under two months of age with pain relief.
Calving Induction
  • The Australian dairy industry does not support routine calving induction and agrees to complete phasing out routine calving induction by 1 January 2022.
Euthanasia
  • Dairy farmers must create provisions for on-farm euthanasia through the use of a licensed firearm or captive bolt device, and provide training as required.
  • Euthanasia by blunt force trauma should not occur on Australian dairy farms, except in emergency situations, which are defined by the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle as:
    • the calf is under 24 hours old AND
    • the calf is in severe pain or distress AND
    • there is no other practical alternative.
Live Export
  • The Australian dairy industry supports the ongoing export of breeding cattle in accordance with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).
  • The Australian dairy industry agrees to the introduction of a statutory levy on the exporters of dairy cattle to fund LiveCorp activities, with any funds raised to be spent in consultation with the dairy industry, in order to facilitate improvements in the dairy cattle export trade.
Standards and Guidelines
  • The Australian dairy industry commits to adhering to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle
  • The Australian dairy industry commits to adhering to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock.
Tail Docking
  • The Australian dairy industry does not support the use of tail docking, and should only be performed on veterinary advice to treat injury or disease.
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General

The Australian Dairy Industry commits to striving for the health, welfare and best care for all our animals throughout their lives

Standards and Guidelines

The Australian Dairy Industry commits to adhering to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle

The Australian Dairy Industry commits to adhering to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock

Calving Induction

The Australian Dairy Industry does not support routine calving induction and agrees to complete phase out of routine calving induction by January 1 2022

Tail Docking

The Australian Dairy Industry does not support the use of tail docking, and should only be performed on veterinary advice to treat injury or disease.

Calves

  • Bobby calves transported for sale or slaughter must be at least five days old, fit and healthy and be adequately fed within six hours of pick up.
  • Calves aged 5 to 30 days old, transported without mothers, must have no more than 30 hours time-off-feed
  • Calves should be disbudded under two months of age with pain relief

Biosecurity

  • Bobby calves transported for sale or slaughter must be at least five days old, fit and healthy and be adequately fed within six hours of pick up.
  • Calves aged 5 to 30 days old, transported without mothers, must have no more than 30 hours time-off-feed
  • Calves should be disbudded under two months of age with pain relief
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